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Overturned goal is turning point for Islanders

New York gets spark after second-period goal by Florida waved off following challenge

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Situation Room: FLA vs. NYI, Gm3

Situation Room: Ekblad's goal overturned after review

R1, Gm3: After a coach's challenge, the officials determine that the Panthers were offside and Aaron Ekblad's goal is waived off

  • 01:31 •

NEW YORK -- The turning point in the New York Islanders' 4-3 overtime win against the Florida Panthers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Barclays Center on Sunday wasn't a goal scored, but a goal that wasn't scored.

Aaron Ekblad beat Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss at 4:08 of the second period, apparently giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead. But the Islanders challenged, contending that the play was offside. The goal was overturned after a video review, keeping the score 2-0 and changing the momentum of the game.

"Our video coach did a great job calling that into us tonight and I think that was the turning point," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "[Being] down by two is a lot different than down by three."

Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau said he thought he was offside on the play but kept playing since none of the officials blew his whistle.

"It's offside, so it's not going to count," Huberdeau said. "Of course it's tough because it would have been 3-0 instead of 2-0... we could have won that game and we didn't capitalize on our chances in overtime.

"I thought [the linesman] was going to call it on the play and he said it was not so I just played it."

Rookie defenseman Ryan Pulock scored 73 seconds after the non-goal to get the Islanders back in the game. Shane Prince and Frans Nielsen had goals before the period ended to make it 3-3, and Thomas Hickey scored at 12:31 of overtime. The Islanders lead 2-1 in the best-of-7 series. Game 4 is in Brooklyn on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports 2, SUN, MSG+).

Video: FLA@NYI, Gm3: Pulock scores on two-man advantage

"I thought the turning point was that offside call," Hickey said. "You won't find me saying that too much, I don't enjoy watching those when I'm watching the game but [the referees and linesmen] took their time and they got it right. Our fans rallied and I think there was a life, an energy on the bench we got out of that."

The no-goal call also sparked life into the crowd at Barclays Center, which was hosting its first Stanley Cup Playoff game.

"The rink kind of went dead when we were down 2-0 and then 3-0 obviously, so it was a huge turning point to get that turned back," Prince said. "The fans were back into it and we rallied behind them and were able to come back."

Greiss, who finished with 36 saves, knew at the time that it was a big call.

"It was huge turning moment," Greiss said. "It sucked the life out of them, and we came back and scored a goal."

Panthers coach Gerard Gallant agreed with the call after seeing the replay.

"Our guy said it was offside a little bit," he said. "It was a tough play and it was real close but they challenged it and won the challenge and there's nothing we can do about that."

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